Arik Hesseldahl

Recent Posts by Arik Hesseldahl

No LulzSec Hackers Have Been Arrested–At Least Not Yet

The hacker group LulzSec denied a claim made early this morning that one of its members had been arrested by FBI agents in New York. Additionally, sources at the FBI said the agency had made no such arrests.

LulzSec said in a posting on (read it in full below) and on Twitter that no members of the group had been arrested. “We don’t even know who he is,” the group said of the person whose arrest had been claimed. (I’m deliberately choosing not to use the person’s name.)

The claim of an arrest came in an anonymous posting to Full Disclosure, an independent mailing list for security professionals and researchers, and followed the posting by LulzSec of the latest prize in its ongoing campaign against Sony, the source code used to run a network for Sony software developers.

The hacker group has been making headlines of late, both for its assault on Sony and Web sites belonging to PBS and Nintendo, and for its attack against the Atlanta chapter of Infraguard, a non-profit organization affiliated with the FBI that is devoted to sharing security information between the FBI and private businesses.

As I warned this morning, the arrest claim may very well have been nothing more than a hoax whose exact purpose isn’t entirely clear. However, there’s at least one suggestion that the group, at least statistically speaking, already may have a stool pigeon among its ranks.

Eric Corley, the publisher of 2600: The Hacker Quarterly, says in this interview with The Guardian that roughly one in four members of the hacker underground are informers for either the FBI or the U.S. Secret Service.

Those hackers who do get caught are persuaded to inform on their associates with the threat of long prison terms if they don’t cooperate. And if the example of the Wikileaks case is any guide, it’s only a matter of time before members start turning on each other in response to the pressure.

The story notes that Bradley Manning, the U.S. Army private currently residing in a 6-by-12-foot cell at the U.S. Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia, was turned in by the hacker Adrian Lamo. Even so, for now LulzSec is showing no sign of losing even a bit of its public swagger, as you can read in the tweet and statement embedded below.

Nobody arrested, no significant logs leaked, website up, twitter up, Pirate Bay account up, IRC up, Lulz Boat sailing… victory for us. :D
The Lulz Boat

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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”